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In August 2020, we launched the Art Matters series in response to the need for a platform supporting artistes and craftspeople. The objective of this platform was primarily to generate awareness about the vast diversity of our intangible heritage. The Art Matters series included Fables of the Earth showcasing traditional visual art forms, and I Believe Art Matters, which brought together 450 artistes in a 6.45-hour-long collaborative performance of music, theatre, dance and cinema, anchored by Shabana Azmi and Manoj Bajpayee. I Believe Art Matters 2020 was viewed by over 200,000 people on social media and many times more in a repeat telecast on the television channel India Ahead. This effort helped raise over Rs. 7.5 Million and benefitted 5200 artistes and craftspeople across the country.

In light of the tremendous support we received for I Believe Art Matters 2020, we are delighted to announce a second edition which will be showcased on 10 October 2021, which will lead the way for subsequent events under the Art Matters initiative.

The arts have sustained and kept us connected to a normal world – whether through virtual dance recitals, an intricately crafted Durga idol or a dramatic narrative of Ram Lila, or simply through the youthful voices of hope by a children’s Christmas choir for Christmas. Facing a future gripped with uncertainties and erratic resumption of performances and shows, this is a particularly challenging time for artistes struggling to resume work.

Spurred by our commitment towards preserving and promoting the arts, this initiative aims to maintain a consistent support channel for artistes and empower them to continue their practice. Our intent is to offer them a platform to continue envisioning, imagining, creating and engaging with diverse arts and crafts.

I Believe Art Matters 2021's primary purpose is to provide artistes with an opportunity to engage in interdisciplinary collaborations. The virtual showcase will feature 10 commissioned acts with an artiste in need of support collaborating with artistes who have been able to sustain themselves in the past two years. Together, they will create new works or performances in an imaginative partnership across diverse media, including music, dance, theatre and art. With the freedom to explore and interpret different genres, disciplines, and mediums, we hope to encourage the creation of works of art that will excite and enthral the artistes as well as their audiences.

70% of the proceeds will go into providing monetary support to artistes and their families, with Teamwork contributing seed money for the co-creation of the initial acts. We hope that these collaborations will lead to creating outstanding works and allow talented artistes to stay afloat, while also engaging in meaningful work as they cope with the new normal.